Formalizing the Operations Team - Request for Comments

RFC: Formalizing our Developer DAO Operations Team

We’re posting this to the forum after incorporating a lot of community comments, and we’re looking for more comments and support and alignment so we can move our DAO forward together :slight_smile:

This text will be elevated to a formal proposal after another comment period - the request for votes at the bottom of the text is included here for completeness.


This is a concrete step forward in following through with our official community Season 0 roadmap: P3: Developer DAO Season 0

At the top level, the Ops team handles challenges that are common across guilds and across the DAO. The Ops team is not a top-down control structure, but exists to help and support our guilds and members.

Why an Ops team:

  • Large operational DAO challenges were previously the responsibility of individual guilds, or the founding team, or unaccounted for, and bringing them together allows us to move forward effectively without confusion and diffusion of responsibility. Many processes are currently blocked, and formalizing the Ops team will help us get unblocked.

Purpose of the operations team:

  • Support and enable members and contributors to successfully execute on Developer DAO’s mission by putting in place and maintaining operational systems and structures.

Responsibilities of the operations team:

  • Coordinate to harmonize initiatives and reduce duplicated efforts across DAO guilds. ( e.g. Onboarding efforts, tooling setup, comms announcements, etc. )

  • Actively maintaining context across the DAO by having an Ops team member attend guild weekly calls and liaise with guild leaders.

  • Coordinating guilds to find, focus, and execute on specific season and period priorities.

  • Helping to tame and manage common DAO infrastructure, like the governance forum (getting sign-in-with-ethereum and restricting posting to DAO members) and the Discord server (streamlining the Discord server experience will not be simple or quick or easy!) Notion, bots, calendars, etc.

  • DAO onboarding and offboarding policies and procedures, including empowering people to take on suitable roles within the DAO. This is going to be a HUGE effort and critical to our success as we open the floodgates to new members.

  • Legal and accounting policies and procedures, and owning relationships with compliance professionals working on behalf of the DAO (Accountants, Lawyers, etc). This includes defining budgets processes, contributor rewards, and treasury management and putting appropriate plans through our community governance process.

  • Safeguarding DAO and member capacity to prioritize execution and prevent burnout. ( eg scheduling 1-on-1 priority and cadence setting calls with contributors, coordinating guilds around DAO season priorities, recruiting for underserved teams, etc. )

Current state of the operations team:

Kempsterrr and RyanCoordinator have been working full-time in operations roles for the DAO and will be the first co-leads of the official D_D Ops team. The DAO and its operational needs are under active development and evolution. Many roles and teams will need to be started and nurtured in order to execute on Ops team responsibilities, and the landscape will change drastically as the DAO grows through Season 1. This plan for the Ops team takes on and makes explicit the tasks and responsibilities the original core team has been taking on by default, and the formal creation of this Ops team follows our ratified Season 0 roadmap. The Ops team expects to issue a revised scope and plan at the beginning of D_D Season 2 to report to the community and refine our operational posture. We will also be in constant contact with our members to ensure their needs are being met.

Developer DAO has been working with our partner Gitcoin to advance the structure of our DAO and they have committed $GTC for the purpose of setting foundations, funding our operations, and retaining operational staff. We will be following through with this while we work towards the release of D_D’s $CODE governance token and $CODE denominated budgets for guilds and initiatives.

The process of evolving the DAO structure includes redefining the role of the ‘core team’, from now on referred to as the ‘founding team’, and the official establishment of the Ops team is an important step towards delegating previous founding team duties to official DAO organs. The founding team will not be leaving us, and continue to be vitally important members of our community, and will not be abandoning their responsibilities as signers on the treasury mutli-sig. Having a strong equality between guild leaders and founding team is a limiting factor to the growth of our guilds and community that we are now outgrowing and moving beyond.

In summary:

Following through on Developer DAO’s Season 0 roadmap and setting us up for success requires a dedicated full-time operations staff with an explicit mandate. Please vote to YES to formally recognize and empower our already working full-time staff, and support them so they can support our DAO. Voting YES on this proposal is voting YES on moving Developer DAO forward.


The text above will become a formal proposal after we get more comments. Please show your support in the comments here in this thread below, and this proposal will be elevated to a vote which will also need your support soon! :slight_smile:

13 Likes

I think & hope the forming of an official Ops team as described above is going to have a huge impact on executing effectively on the goals we set as a DAO per season.

The graphic above does not 100% represent how I’d think of the ops team based on this description. I’d rather see the guilds connected to both the efforts as well as the ops team, while the duplicated efforts are consolidated into unique efforts connected to multiple guilds.

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Thank you for your support! <3

Yes, you are correct, the guilds are connected to efforts and initiatives and teams - The graphic was quickly put together to demonstrate the concept of harmonizing and reducing duplication. Making graphics of complex organizational structures is quite challenging!

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Thank you for this RFC. I am in agreement that this Operations Team will help us advance and streamline our operational efficiency as a DAO as we move forward. I also agree that the Operations Team not being tied to one guild or a top-down control structure is most ideal, because it will help solve problems that fall in more than one guild and are relevant to the entire DAO and its members.

“Coordinate to harmonize initiatives”

Since joining the DAO, the number of channels, projects, and members in existence has taken off and it is currently difficult to understand all that is going on. Speaking from experience, even being in the majority of D_D meetings over the past week it was difficult to understand everything that is happening. It’s also becoming clear that we are beginning to double up on some efforts and building out the structure to have effective cross-guild collaboration is crucial to our success as a DAO. The proposed operations team supporting and enabling project teams, guilds, and members could help us solve this problem.

I don’t think that any one person will ever understand all that is going on, but eliminating duplicate efforts is important and without a team working on a broad view of operations, this will be hard to achieve.

Standardization

In order to make our operations more efficient an operations team standardizing documentation of all moving parts will help us save time as a DAO, members’ time, and to advance our missions, values, and goals. Setting up a structure for meeting hygiene is something that I think could fall into this team.

On the topic of standardizing procedures, I think it is also important to set up a Scribe Team and continue to set the groundwork for what a meeting looks like, how it is documented (text, audio, and/or video), and how to practice such a process. Streamlining the way we document meetings will also be helpful for our internationalization efforts to be inclusive of our community and to remain in line with our missions, values, and goals. This is something I would imagine lies within the Operations Team and is comprised of members from the Writer’s Guild, with a focus on operational efforts such as: “onboarding efforts, tooling setup, comms announcements, etc.”

I’ve drafted a meeting notes template and began testing it last week: https://developerdao.notion.site/Test-Instance-of-Agenda-Notes-Template-337bc09faf6e40f2b7b8bb483930a09a

New Members and Legality

Additionally, setting the groundwork for onboarding and operations is becoming increasingly important as we get closer to opening the “floodgates” to new membership. If we don’t do this we may encounter an operational nightmare.

Legally, I am in agreement that setting a structure in order to properly allocate treasury budgets, contributor rewards, and treasury management will be important to define so that we have a rigorous, battle-tested community governance process.

4 Likes

I’m in favor of this effort and formalizing this with a proposal after comments.
I see the ops team as a great way to help the DAO move projects forward, without duplicating effort across guild.
With some experience on this, Ops Team could also act as an advisor on emerging new teams and projects, help them organize themselves or help recruit more effort.

3 Likes

Thank you for your support Josh! <3

I agree with you completely about the importance of making sure that our DAO meetings have good hygiene, with agendas and scribes. We will absolutely need Scribes team!

Thank you for all the initiative you have taken in setting up our tooling and carrying through as an (incredible!) scribe for D_D.

In the legal realm, I/we have many meetings on these topics this week with lawyers and advisors. Getting us on a firm foundation to operate safely and protect our members is a top priority.

3 Likes

Thank you for your support <3

Helping teams effectively onboard and recruit has been an ongoing effort this year and is already bearing fruit. Looking forward to scaling up and continuing to serve our community :slight_smile:

Thanks for writing this up Ryan. I support this proposal

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Thank you for your support!

Thanks @RyanCoordinator for putting together this RFC. I’m personally quite excited about the idea of an ops team because I think it will help resolve a lot of frustrations I’ve had as a core team member and guild leader.

:pray:

I’ve felt the why of this RFC over and over again the last few months. Since our DAO is quite large, we face significant coordination challenges to our ability to move forward in a decentralized manner.

Guilds are a great opportunity for discovering bottom-up solutions to targeted problems, but a lot of the problems that I’ve felt personally as leader of the development guild have seemed to be much larger than our guild.

Our dev guild operations teams are a perfect example of that I think: we have teams for discord, onboarding, events, education, security, and more. While it’s good to have people autonomously exploring these areas, it also feels like it’s a distraction from the guild’s focus and that we’re missing a lot of opportunities to collaborate with the other guilds on these shared areas that affect the DAO as a whole.

I’m hopeful that creating a central coordination team will help offload a lot of the burden that we’ve been carrying as a guild and elevate it to be shared by the DAO as a whole, and give these shared areas the focus and definition they deserve.

I agree with this! I made the graphic in 16 minutes during VIBES yesterday to try to add a supporting visual to the document, but it doesn’t fully capture how I view the Operations Team either.

I see the Operations Team as a way to decentralize power and decision-making. Currently power and decision-making is centralized primarily in the guilds (where a lot of these topics are an awkward fit). With an Operations Team, we can devolve power to an organization focused specifically on resolving a lot of these shared issues.

That doesn’t mean the guilds aren’t involved. That doesn’t mean that individual members aren’t involved. It just means that ownership of these problems belong to an organization built specifically for solving those problems. I think that will make it much more likely both that we find effective solutions to these problems and that we have the right people involved in the right processes to implement them.

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sorry I hope I didn’t came across too rude, totally understand that it was just a quick drawing of the idea and visualizing organizational structures is a whole thing anyways. My intention was only to confirm whether I was thinking correctly about it.

3 Likes

Thanks for putting this together.

YES on this proposal. YES on moving Developer DAO forward.

1 Like

Love this idea overall.

In context to Ops being up to date on the guilds through attending the weekly calls, would it be better for guilds to appoint a liaison to the Ops team for updates? I am concerned with team size for Ops and the mental overhead to keep things straight. I know it is good for Ops members to be involved to be able to pull out initiatives that are being duplicated or could need resources from other areas since they have the most context, but I worry about overwhelming the Ops team if it is under resourced.

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Thanks for bringing this up. I support this as well!

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100% agree a formalized ops team would be a great way to move the DAO forward. Taking the load of figuring out various administrative/communicative tasks off the guilds should enable the guilds to focus more intently on what they do best… building cool stuff for the rest of the DAO. Also think it’s smart to not have the scope of this team fully defined for season 0/1, so that the ops team can figure out exactly where/when its needed, before clarifying scope for future seasons.

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Nope, didn’t find it rude at all! Just wanted to share where it came from :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your support!

So far, the number of guilds has been manageable, and I personally have been able to attend all the guild weekly sync calls (which is also part of my campaign to make sure guilds all have sync calls with agendas, notes, etc. with Josh’s help) but as the number of guilds grows as you suggest, I agree it will become prudent to have guild ops liasons, likely the guild leads.

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Thank you with-heart, wslyvh, josevelez.eth, and 0xMaxB for your support!
We couldn’t do it without you too <3

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Thanks Ryan for this.

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This why for me is the most important thing, specifically clearly assigning responsibility for tackling things that are on the critical path for the DAO to be successful at delivering on our mission, values and goals.

As the DAO has grown there has been progressively more structure introduced which has helped with decentralising responsibility for a variety of tasks. one of the best things to come out of this is the opportunity for bottom-up learning and we’re now in a good position to figure out the good/bad parts of the current structure, processes in various guilds, challenges faced to being honing in on improvements at the DAO level that will help us be successful now and scale as we open back up.

The faster we can deliver on the DAO’s foundations the faster we can decentralise decision making and enable members to freely take action, and be rewarded for it. I hope we get support for this proposal.

2 Likes